Khalil: September Salaries Secured but Need Legal Coverage

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After Lebanon's highest constitutional authority decided to annul a tax hike law which people fear could affect the wage scale law, Finance Minister Ali Hassan Khalil said on Saturday the amount of money to cover the public sector salaries for September is “ensured,” al-Joumhouria daily reported Saturday.

“Funds needed to cover the salaries for September are ensured, but the disbursement needs legal coverage,” Abi Khalil told the daily in an interview.

In that regard, the daily pointed out that a meeting will be held today at the Ministry of Finance, at 3 pm, and will be attended by representatives of all parliamentary blocs participating in the government.

Ministerial sources told the daily on condition of anonymity that “there is no possibility of canceling the wage scale payment before September 25, which is the starting date for disbursement.

When the new public sector wages are disbursed according to the new law, “this will put the political forces in front of two possibilities, either introduce amendments to the tax law, or introduce an urgent draft law to the parliament that includes suspension of the application of the wage scale for a month until the amendments are made and the tax law is approved,” they said.

On Friday, the Constitutional Council unanimously annulled the tax hike law aimed at funding the wage scale whose beneficiaries are civil servants and the armed forces. The ruling followed an appeal filed by 10 MPs led by Kataeb Party chief Sami Gemayel.

“The decision will not affect the wage scale" and civil servants and the armed forces will receive their September salaries based on the new wages lists, a Council member told reporters.

Despite the assurance, the government still faces the threat of finding alternative sources to fund the scale law.

After the Council's decision, intensive political contacts by Prime Minister Saad Hariri led to an agreement on holding an emergency cabinet session Monday at the Grand Serail to discuss the repercussions of the Constitutional Council's repeal of a tax law aimed at funding the new wage scale.

Comments 4
Thumb janoubi 23 September 2017, 09:46

This is a minister whose son just bought $11,000 worth of clothes from one shop in Beirut for his girlfriend.

Thumb justin 23 September 2017, 10:51

Ghazi Al Areedi's son's wedding cost $3 million.

Thumb marcus 23 September 2017, 13:32

They all are corrupt from top to bottom without exception.

Thumb ___flamethrower___ 24 September 2017, 13:49

The best Iranian Finance Minister, ever!